Ain’t it always when you don’t plan it, that some crazy shit goes down?
For the next two months, my life is my job. So last night, after a crazy day, I needed a cocktail. Plus, I liked yesterday’s outfit. So come hell or high water, I was going out. Mike and I agreed to meet in North Beach and find something to eat and drink. O’Reilly’s was packed with men who tucked their printed polos into their jeans, which were in turn, adorned with pagers from 1995. We decided to move on.
We agreed on Moose’s, which is appalling expensive but Mike’d never been there and we spent no money all weekend. Fuck it. I’m stressed. I want tablecloths. We sank into a cozy little table, Mike sipping his Belvedere straight up as I enjoyed the obvious glass of white. Suddenly, a gentleman appeared with two skinny shot glasses of something strange.
“Miso with green onion, compliments of the chef.”
I regard Miso as seawater, but drank it anyway. Hell, it’s free soup. We were having fun with our drinks and our miso, mocking the Nordstroms-esque piano player and the two little old ladies insistent upon a round of applause after every Broadway cover. I decided on the onion and spinach ravioli and Mike settled on the difficult to pronounce Petrale Sole Remoulade. It was in a word, spectacular.
"Ugh, nothing makes me feel better like pretentious waiters and floral arrangements."
"No kidding. I dig this place."
"We can't afford this."
Sometimes, forking over stacks of cash is entirely worth it when it comes with good lighting and complicated stacking of designer food. “I almost feel like staying out.” Mike said, over bites of sole.
“Oh, then we’re going to the WashBaG.”
“The Washington Square Bar and Grill.”
We headed across the park and settled into the bar. I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned to find my old pal, Pat. You gotta love Pat, the only bartender I know who spends his nights off sitting at bars. Pat offered us a sampling of his duck confit, but I was more interested in the barely touched BOTTLE of Stag’s Leap he shared with his friend.
On the other side of us was a middle aged guy in a swanky suit, trying to order Zinfandel. He settled on the Raveswood and began to chat up the bartender. Mike leaned over, “This guy is the shit. I think he’s from out of town.”
“You want me to engage him in witty banter?”
I leaned across the bar. “Are you enjoying the Ravenswood?”
And thus it began. Turns out, Ned spends 6 months a year in San Francisco and the other 6 months in Kansas City.
"Alot going on in Kansas City."
"Are you kidding me? KC is hopping, sweetheart."
Ned was convinced Mike and I were on a date, and kept saying mildly gross things to apparently “set the mood.” He asked what my favorite song was and then approached the piano player. As “Lady is a Tramp” played in the background, Ned leaned over to Mike. “Hey, kid, I’m trying to help you out here.”
Oh my god.
I laughed. “I’ve known this guy since he was 5.”
He winked at Mike, “Did she look this good when she was 5?”
Oh my god.
"Come on, kid. I'm giving you gold, here."
"No, no. This is great. I'm learning so much."
At this point, we’re not only talking to Ned, but our proximity to Pat and his friend enticed the owner of the Washbag over to refill our wine glasses. Ned, however, was on a roll.
“Kid, you need to take this girl to Bix.”
Ned, Ned, Ned.
“Hey pal, don’t tell me about Bix.”
“Ha! I like a broad that gets around. Well, I’m going back to my hotel. But if you kids want to meet me for a drink, I’ll be at the Big Four. You know it?”
This was funny for several reasons.
“Yeah, Ned. We know it.”
Ned departed, and we finished our drinks.
(In the interest of fulfilling a promise, you should all go to the big Crab Feed at the Washbag. Guy’ll take care of you.)
“Well, should we go to the Big Four?
“It’s up to you.”
“No way, it’s so up to you.”
“Michael, make a goddamn decision.”
“Okay, we’re going.”
I started my evening hoping to grab a couple of drinks with my roommate on the way home. Who’d have thought I’d end my evening hours later by getting stood up at the Big Four by fucking Ned from Kansas City, the guy who makes sleazy comments about 5 year olds and called me a broad…